Francis Bacon's Triptych Leads Sotheby's
Francis Bacon's Triptych Leads Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Auction | NY Exhibition Opens Tomorrow
NEW YORK, 2 November 2017 – Sotheby’s is delighted to share the full offerings of the Contemporary Art Evening Auction. Taking place in New York at 6:30pm on 16 November, the sale features signature paintings and sculptures by some of the art world’s most recognizable artists – including Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol, Jean Dubuffet, Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Louise Bourgeois – many of them coming to auction for the first time. The multi-floor exhibition opens to the public on 3 November alongside Impressionist, Modern, American and Latin American art.
MAGNIFICENT GESTURES: MASTERWORKS FROM THE DIAMONSTEIN-SPIELVOGEL COLLECTION
“Two New York collectors who have embraced drawings, sketches, pastels and watercolours are Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel and Carl Spielvogel. Over time and with a rare devotion to the art form, the couple has meticulously built unprecedented holdings of masterworks on paper.”
An unprecedented collection of masterworks on paper, offering unique insight into the creative spirit and personality of 20th and 21st century artists, the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Collection is a study in quality and rarity. From intensely-worked pastels to elemental pen and ink drawings, the offerings this November are diverse in technique as well as the impressive array of artists represented. The collection is distinguished further by the incredible depth in which the Spielvogels collected a number of artists, such as seven works by Jasper Johns, which capture many of his signature images and techniques, including the American flag and numbers.
Mark Rothko’s Untitled acrylic on paper mounted on canvas from 1968 leads the Contemporary offerings (estimate $5/7 million). A rare and ethereal example of the artist’s mature work, the work evokes all of the hallmarks of Rothko’s most iconic vernacular, bearing three distinct zones of sumptuous color and richly-expressive brushwork. Luminescent and serene, this work is a testament to Rothko’s singular mastery of light, color, and form in his revered corpus of works on paper. A second highlight from the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Collection is Jackson Pollock’s Untitled from 1951 (estimate $3/4 million). Notable for the density of its soaked color in vibrant ambers, yellow and rich blacks, the painting captures the artist working through a major stylistic development.
Full proceeds from the sale of works from the Diamonstein-Spielvogel Collection will benefit a charitable foundation of the same name, which was established to support causes that the Spielvogels have actively championed throughout their lives, including: science & medicine, educational reform & innovation, and cultural projects. (separate release available)
TO LIVE WITH ART: THE JEROME & ELLEN STERN COLLECTION
Driven by passion, curiosity and knowledge, Jerome & Ellen Stern compiled a unique collection over the course of 60 years, building friendships with artists, gallerists and the art world along the way. The resulting curation, of which over 60 lots are being offered at Sotheby’s in November, is particularly robust in Contemporary art and is led by David Smith’s Voltri-Bolton X, which was acquired in 1969, after Jerome Stern drove several hours to Bolton Landing and personally selected the present work (estimate $6/8 million). Additional highlights include Marlene Dumas’s Magdalena (Underwear and Bedtime Stories) (estimate $3/4 million), David Hammons’s Untitled (estimate $350/450,000), Wangechi Mutu’s A Dragon Kiss Always Ends in Ashes (estimate $150/200,000), Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s The Hours Behind You (estimate $250/350,000), and Joseph Cornell’s Untitled (Game Box) (estimate $350/450,000). (separate release available)
PROPERTY FROM VARIOUS OWNERS
Appearing in public for the first time in 50 years is Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of George Dyer, a tour-de-force of painterly expression (estimate $35/45 million). Painted during his passionate and frenzied relationship with George Dyer – a cornerstone of his personal and private life between the initial meeting in 1963 and Dyer’s death in 1969 – the triptych is one of five of this intimate scale completed during this time period; of the five, two are in museums and the other two have been offered at auction in recent years. The present example from 1966 has been exhibited only once before, shortly after its execution, and will make its auction debut on 16 November in New York. (separate release available)
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